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The MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation in KwaZulu-Natal, Mrs Bongi Sithole-Moloi, will not rest until such time that the majority of the citizens of the Province take the message of living healthy and active lifestyles to the heart and adopt it.

The MEC also wants arts and crafts not to be taken only as expression of talent, but to be used as means for sustainable livelihood as well as to unlock the opportunities that will position arts and culture a viable industry.

To this end MEC Sithole-Moloi has started engaging shopping malls in the Province to set aside space for the aspiring crafters and artists to exhibit and sell their work on a daily basis.

This past week saw her campaign moving into a real overdrive as she moved from the southern part of the Province in Harding to the far northern KZN in uPhongolo in just two days.

The MEC was part of the Provincial government’s Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) campaign focussing on the Umuziwabantu Municipality under Ugu District on Wednesday 22 March.

Her deployment took her to two local schools, Mdlangathi High and Inkanyezi yaMachi Primary both in the Nqabeni area in Ward 06.

She addressed the school management committee and members of their governing bodies on issues affecting them.

She used the visits to encourage them to embrace sport and healthy lifestyle programme as part of the school activities. The MEC also gave each of the schools sporting equipment included soccer and netball kits as well as aerobics and fitness equipment.

On Friday, 24 March, she was almost 600 kilometres (from Harding) to the north at uPhongolo Municipality in the District of Zululand for the uPhongolo Craft and Sports Festival organised jointly by her Departments of Arts and Culture and Sport and Recreation.

The uPhongolo visit was two-fold.  In the main the MEC wanted to spread the message of Healthy Lifestyle and promotion of arts and crafts to the wider community which she did at the Sithambi Sports Grounds in Ward 07.

The MEC also used the opportunity to meet and address the staff of the two departments, namely Sport and Recreation and Arts and Culture together.

In her speech to staff as well as to the community later, she highlighted the role that is played by her two Departments in meeting the government objectives to create a better life for all the citizens.

The MEC further encouraged staff members to work within the values of Batho Pele (People first) as well as integrity.

She also addressed the community on issues of social cohesion, moral regeneration and adopting the charter of positive social values as well as encouraging them to be proud of their identity and cultural heritage.

“Both of these Departments have put in place campaigns to better the lives of people such as the Department of Sport and Recreation’s Active Fridays campaign which encourage people to always be active in order to prevent contracting lifestyle diseases and to keep themselves healthy at all times,”  said MEC Sithole-Moloi.

“The Department of Arts and Culture which has also put in place programmes to support and develop people who do craft, art and other related work in order to encourage them to continue doing their work and make a livelihood,” added Sithole-Moloi.

The uPhongolo event was a good example of this.  The day kicked off with a number of sporting programmes including a fun walk and mass aerobics and ended with an arts and craft exhibition as well as a cultural fashion parade by local craftspeople and designers.

The MEC also left behind a number of sporting equipment for the community.


  
 
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